Biden Rethinks Saudi-U.S. Relations

President Biden has begun the process of reassessing and potentially changing Saudi Arabia’s relationship with the United States after the Saudi-led coalition of oil producers announced it would cut production. An increase in production of 2 million barrels per day could push up oil prices in the United States and around the world, and the month before the midterm elections was a particularly political blow for Biden. White House press secretary John Kirby reiterated on CNN that Biden had expressed disappointment in the decision of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). “Certainly I think that’s where he is, given OPEC’s decisions,” Kirby said. “I am willing to work with Congress to think about what that relationship should look like going forward,” said Kirby, the White House National Security Council’s (NSC) strategic communications coordinator. But U.S. officials, including Biden, said they would consider “what direction the right relationship with Saudi Arabia might take in the future.” Biden administration officials have made a special effort to pressure Saudi Arabia to produce more oil to fill the global shortage caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Jeddah trip in July. With an announcement last week, Saudi Arabia at least partially rejected these solicitations. Officials hoped Biden’s visit to the kingdom could improve Saudi relations over a range of issues, including the world’s oil supply. It was believed that it could trigger a rise in gasoline prices in the United States, weeks before the US midterm elections amid President Vladimir Putin’s war with Ukraine. At this point, the Democratic majority in the House and Senate is at stake. When questioned about the report, US State Department spokeswoman Ned Price said the Biden administration had canceled a meeting Saudi Arabia was scheduled to attend on Iran policy in response to OPEC Plus measures. , Sen. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (DN.J.) criticized Saudi Arabia and called for an immediate freeze on “all aspects of cooperation with Saudi Arabia.” Menendez also promised to exercise his powers as chairman of his committee to block his future arms sales. Parliament’s anger and frustration with Saudi Arabia heightened after the oil decision. On Tuesday, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) has introduced legislation to halt US arms sales to Saudi Arabia. “This simple but urgent action will take the side of Russia at this historic moment and stop the sale of American arms to Saudi Arabia, which has made the offensive and destructive mistake.” Blumenthal said. “Saudi must withdraw its oil supply cuts that support and instigate Russia’s barbaric criminal invasion, endanger the global economy and threaten the high gas prices of American pumps.” The measure would immediately stop all U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia, including munitions. Sales and other weapon support. It will also suspend all direct commercial sales of arms and ammunition to Saudi Arabia and military sales abroad for one year.
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